Reported in the News Letter on June 6, 1963: Political shock as Profumo admits ‘grave misdemeanour’ and resigns

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One of the biggest political bombshells of recent years burst last night with the sensational announcement of the resignation of Mr John Profumo from his post as Secretary of State for War and his seat in the House of Commons.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Profumo said that his statement in the House of Commons on March 22 that there had been no impropriety in his acquaintanceship with Miss Christine Keeler, a model who was a missing witness at an Old Bailey trial, was untrue.

Mr Profumo says in his letter that what he had done was to protect his wife and family, “who were equally misled, as were my professional advisers”.

By this deception he had been guilty of “a grave misdemeanour, and despite the fact that there is no truth whatever in the other charges, I cannot remain a member of your administration nor of the House of Commons”.

A native of Larne, Mrs Profumo, better known formerly as film star and actress, Valerie Hobson, paid a brief visit to the Province and the town of her birth last month.

During the short visit she officially opened a new £35,000 Territorial Army centre in the town.

For the 45-year-old actress it was the first time she had been back in Larne for more than 40 years.

She was born in a house in Chaine Memorial Road, overlooking Larne lough, on April 14, 1917, when her father was in command of the Larne naval base during the First World War.

[The Profumo marriage survived the scandal – they left public life and devoted themselves to charity work.]